As is well known, large parts of the Greek sciences were assimilated by the medieval Muslim world. Equally well known is the fact that quite a number of Muslim scholars contributed to the further development of some of these sciences and also, that some of their works were translated into Latin and other western languages, leaving their imprint on late medieval and early modern science in turn. For this reason, anyone interested in the history of science in the western world will be interested in reading about the history of science in Islam and vice versa. This is why the editor of the present collection of articles has done well to bring together contributions from both fields, in French, English, and Persian. While all of these articles are interesting in their own right, the section dedicated to Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) and a study of Descartes’ (d. 1650) de Solidorum elementis deserve special mention.
Dar handasa-yi ʿamalī
Abu ʼl-Wafāʾ Būzjānī
Edited by Jaʿfar Āqāyānī Chāvushī and Bernard Vitrac
Abu ʼl-Wafāʾ Būzjānī (d. 388/998) was a mathematician and astronomer and a native of Būzjān near Nishapur. He studied arithmetic with two of his uncles, probably in Būzjān. When he was nineteen years old he went to Baghdad. There he further developed himself to become one of the leading scientists of his age, working at the Buyid court. He was a contemporary and protector of the chronicler of intellectual and artistic life in Baghdad at the time, Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī (d. ca. 414/1023). In the bibliographical literature more than twenty works are ascribed to him, many of which were lost. The present work was originally written in Arabic under the title Kitāb fī mā yaḥtāj ilayhi ʼl-ṣāniʿ fī aʿmāl al-handasa. It is a groundbreaking work in that Būzjānī was the first to write a monograph on practical geometry as justified by the rules of theoretical geometry. Medieval Persian and French translation, with introductions and notes.